Poverty Simulation: An Experiential Learning Tool Emphasizing Economic Justice Content

Document Type


SoTL Category

External/Clinical Experience

SoTL Discipline

Arts and Humanities

Publication Date



The social work profession has been criticized for abandoning its mission to serving the poor and challenging economic injustice. The authors’ evaluation study examines the effectiveness of a poverty simulation experience in an undergraduate policy class to counter the trend that diverges from the profession’s original mission. The poverty simulation was designed to emphasize the structural contributions of poverty, dispel myths about people who live in poverty, and encourage students to remain committed to challenging social and economic injustice. Data demonstrate that the poverty simulation experience increased students’ knowledge of the challenges of living in poverty.


This article was published in Journal of Baccalaureate Social Work. Vol. 17, Number 1. (2012).